AQVR 332-2

The proposed album is a collection of extremely rare recordings of a prominent russian singer Georgy Mikhailovich Nelepp (1904-1957), which during the 1940-50ies succeeded in creating a series of unforgetable, classical renditions in his roles on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater. Sadko and German, Imposter-King and Sobinin, Jose and Florestan, Jontek and Rhadames - these and other parts are well known and have been issued times before. The art of G.M.Nelepp, which strikes us by it's astonishing freshness, wholeness, sheer poetical purity, probably can best be described by the words of the operatic producer L.V.Baratov: "When we reminisce of the great singers we had a chance to hear, we often begin by admiring their vocal technique - their breathing, the refinement of their tone, the effects of piano and forte, and other details of such nature, because these were indeed the things that mainly drew our attention in their singing. This rule does not apply to Nelepp. When he sang, no one at the audience ever fixed his attention strictly on the vocal - on the high notes or the difficult passages. No one could think of applauding him for reaching a brilliant high do, because that would of ruined the entirety of the impression created by his singing, and it was exactly this unity of impression, the vitality that gripped and wowed the audience in the case of Nelepp. It was as if his voice did not belong to him, but to the characters created by the great master, expressing their human and emotional essence". The veracity of this judgement is proven before us every time we listen to the marvelous recordings of this singer - both operatic and chamber. G.M.Nelepp had never given a solo concert program, but was willingly making recording sessions for the record company and the radio - romances and songs of Glinka and Dargomyzhsky, Mussorgsky and Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, Gurilev and Varlamov. To the masterpieces of his art can we can ascribe the vocal cycle of Glinka "The parting with Saint-Petersburg", "The Wedding" of Dargomyzhsky, "The Sea" of Borodin, many of Tchaikovsky's romances. But alongside with the widely known and famous performances, the singing heritage of Nelepp includes many very rare and forgotten pieces. Among them, for example, is the opera-balet "Bacchus's Triumph" by A.Dargomyzhsky and many chamber compositions. But what can probably be singled out as the biggest lacuna are his outstanding duets with other great russian singers - Sergey Migay, Andrey Ivanov, Antonina Klescheva. While we made an effort to issue almost all of his duets with Migay in our triple-CD collection of the singing of S.I.Migay, still the duets with Andrey Ivanov and Antonina Klescheva remained virtually unknown and unreachable for the public. It is exactly these recordings we had in mind when we compiled this particular CD.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Maxim Nikiforov

Alexander Dargomyzhsky ęThe triumph of BacchusĽ

††1. Introduction, recitative, chorus

††2. Bacchusís march and chorus

††3. Dance of the satyrs

††4. Entríacte and aria with chorus

††5. Finale

††6. Golden, silken curls (Alexander Gurilev)

††7. The Knights (Alexander Dargomyzhsky)

††8. Swimmers (Alexander Varlamov)

††9. The river roars (Alexander Varlamov)

10. Nocturne (Alexander Varlamov)

11. Too premature, flower, you blossomed in the field (Alexander Varlamov)

12. Remembrance (Mikhail Glinka)

13. Evening bells (Alexander Alyabiev)

14. Charm of the passed days (Alexander Dargomyzhsky)

15. The autumn wind beats in our glasses (Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov)

16. By farewell (Anton Rubinstein)

17. A cloud (Anton Rubinstein)

18. Oh, repeat it again (Luigi Badia)

19. Look, how the moon is bright (Fabio Campana)

20. A Word (Otto Nikolai)

Andrei Ivanov, baritone (7-10), Antonina Klescheva, mezzo-soprano (11-20)

Piano: Naum Walter (6,11,13), Matvey Sakharov (12,14,15,20), Georg Orentlikher (7-10), unknown piano-player (16-19)

Recorded in: 1948 (6, 14, 15, 20), 1950 (16, 17), 1951 (11, 13, 18, 19), 1952 (7, 12), 1953 (8-10)

Total playing time: 74.30